Title:
FUSION BONDED LIQUID CRYSTAL POLYMER CIRCUIT STRUCTURE
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method of making a multilayered, fusion bonded circuit structure. A first circuitry layer is attached to a first major surface of a first LCP substrate. A plurality of first recesses are formed that extend from a second major surface of the first substrate to the first circuitry layer. The first recesses are then plated to form a plurality of first conductive pillars of solid metal that substantially fill the first recesses. A plurality of second recesses are formed in a second LCP substrate corresponding to a plurality of the first conductive pillars. The second recess are plated to form a plurality of second conductive structures that extend between first and second major surfaces of the second substrate. The second major surface of the first substrate is positioned adjacent to the second major surface of the second substrate. The first conductive pillars are aligned with the second conductive structures. The stack is then fusion bonded to mechanically couple the first conductive pillars to the second conductive structures.


Inventors:
Rathburn, James (MAPLE GROVE, MN, US)
Application Number:
14/864215
Publication Date:
01/14/2016
Filing Date:
09/24/2015
Assignee:
HSIO TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
228/176
International Classes:
H05K3/46; B23K1/00; B23K1/19; B23K26/382; B23K26/40; B23K26/402; C25D3/38; C25D7/12; H05K3/42
View Patent Images:
Primary Examiner:
PARVEZ, AZM A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Karl G Schwappach (17 south Long Lake Trail North Oaks MN 55127)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of making a multilayered, fusion bonded circuit structure comprising the step of: attaching a first circuitry layer to a first major surface of a first LCP substrate; forming a plurality of first recesses extending from a second major surface of the first substrate to the first circuitry layer; plating the first recesses to form a plurality of first conductive pillars of solid metal that substantially fill the first recesses, the first conductive pillars extending above the first circuitry layer; forming a plurality of second recesses in a second LCP substrate corresponding to a plurality of the first conductive pillars; plating the second recesses to form a plurality of second conductive structures that extend between first and second major surfaces of the second substrate; positioning the second major surface of the first substrate adjacent to the second major surface of the second substrate; aligning the first conductive pillars with the second conductive structures; and fusion bonding the first and second LCP substrates to mechanically and electrically couple the first conductive pillars to the second conductive structures.

2. The method of claim 1 comprising the step of laser drilling the first and second recesses.

3. The method of claim 1 comprising the step of: plating the first major surface of the first LCP substrate with a seed layer of a conductive material; applying a photo sensitive material to the seed layer of conductive material; and forming the plurality of first recesses in the photo sensitive material.

4. The method of claim 3 comprising the steps of: bulk plating the first recesses with a conductive material; removing the photo sensitive material to reveal substantially rectangular circuit traces; and etching the first LCP substrate to remove exposed portions of the seed layer adjacent the conductive traces.

5. The method of claim 1 comprising the step of fusion bonding an LCP material to the first major surface of the first LCP substrate to substantially surround the circuit traces.

6. The method of claim 1 comprising the step of planarizing the second major surfaces of the first and second substrates before the step of fusion bonding.

7. The method of claim 1 comprising the step of plating the second recesses to form a plurality of second conductive pillars of solid metal that substantially fill the second recesses.

8. The method of claim 1 wherein the second conductive structures comprise barrel plated vias, the method comprising the steps of plating the barrel plated vias to form a plurality of second conductive pillars of solid metal bonded to the first conductive pillars.

9. The method of claim 1 comprising locating the first conductive pillars on a pitch of less than 150 micrometers.

10. The method of claim 1 wherein the first conductive pillars have a height measured between the first and second major surfaces of less than about 150 micrometers.

11. The method of claim 1 comprising the step of attaching a second circuitry layer to a first major surface of a second substrate.

12. The method of claim 11 comprising the steps of: bonding a third layer of LCP to an exposed surface of the second circuitry layer; and laser drilling a plurality of vias from an exposed first major surface of the third layer to the second circuitry layer.

13. The method of claim 1 comprising the steps of: configuring the first conductive pillars to extend above the second surface of the first substrate; and positioning distal ends of the first conductive pillars at least partially in the second recesses of the second substrate before the fusion bonding step.

14. The method of claim 13 comprising the step of plating the second conductive structures after the fusion bonding step to form a plurality of second conductive pillars of solid metal bonded to the first conductive pillars.

15. The method of claim 1 comprising the steps of: forming a plurality of through corresponding to the first conductive pillars and the second conductive structures holes in a bond layer of low melt LCP; positioning the bond layer between the second major surfaces of the first and second substrates with the through holes aligned with the first conductive pillars and the second conductive structures before the fusion bonding step; and fusion bonding the bond layer to the second surfaces of the first and second substrates.

16. The method of claim 1 comprising the steps of: preparing surfaces of one or more of the first or second recesses to receive electro-less plating; and electro-less plating one or more of the first or second recesses before the plating step.

17. The method of claim 1 comprising the step of electrically coupling an IC device to a plurality of the second conductive structures along the first surface of the second substrate.

18. A method of making a multilayered, fusion bonded circuit structure comprising the step of: plating a first major surface of a first LCP substrate with a seed layer of a conductive material about 3 microns or less thick; applying a photo sensitive material about 0.001 inches thick to the seed layer of conductive material; forming in the photo sensitive material a plurality of recesses corresponding to a desired circuit structure; bulk plating the first recesses with a conductive material; removing the photo sensitive material to reveal substantially rectangular conductive traces with a thickness of about 0.001 inches; etching the first LCP substrate to remove exposed portions of the seed layer adjacent the conductive traces; and fusion bonding a second LCP substrate to the first major surface of the first LCP substrate to encapsulate the conductive traces in an LCP material.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein the conductive traces have a pitch of about 25 microns.

20. The method of claim 18 wherein the conductive traces comprise a generally square cross-sectional shape.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of International Application No. PCT/US2014/045856, entitled FUSION BONDED LIQUID CRYSTAL POLYMER ELECTRIC CIRCUIT STRUCTURE, filed Jul. 9, 2014, which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Nos. 61/845,088, filed Jul. 11, 2013 and 61/915,194 filed Dec. 12, 2013, the disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent Ser. No. 13/700,639, titled ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR INSULATOR HOUSING, filed Jun. 2, 2011, which is a national stage application under 35 U.S.C. §371 of International Application No. PCT/US2011/038845, titled ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR INSULATOR HOUSING, filed Jun. 2, 2011, which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/351,114, filed Jun. 3, 2010, all of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/238,638, entitled DIRECT METALIZATION OF ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT STRUCTURES, filed Feb. 12, 2014, which is a national stage application under 35 U.S.C. §371 of International Application No. PCT/US2012/053848, titled DIRECT METALIZATION OF ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT STRUCTURES, filed Sep. 6, 2012, which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/532,379, filed Sep. 8, 2011, all of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/408,205, entitled HYBRID PRINTED CIRCUIT ASSEMBLY WITH LOW DENSITY MAIN CORE AND EMBEDDED HIGH DENSITY CIRCUIT REGION, filed Dec. 15, 2014, which is a national stage application under 35 U.S.C. §371 of International Application No. PCT/US2013/30856, titled HYBRID PRINTED CIRCUIT ASSEMBLY WITH LOW DENSITY MAIN CORE AND EMBEDDED HIGH DENSITY CIRCUIT REGION, filed Mar. 13, 2013, which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/669,884, filed Jul. 10, 2012, all of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/408,039, entitled HIGH SPEED CIRCUIT ASSEMBLY WITH INTEGRAL TERMINAL AND MATING BIAS LOADING ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY, filed Dec. 15, 2014, which is a national stage application under 35 U.S.C. §371 of International Application No. PCT/US2013/30981, titled HIGH SPEED CIRCUIT ASSEMBLY WITH INTEGRAL TERMINAL AND MATING BIAS LOADING ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY, filed Mar. 13, 2013, which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/669,893, filed Jul. 10, 2012, all of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates to a multi-layered high performance electrical circuit structure constructed using a liquid crystal polymer (“LCP”) dielectric material, and a corresponding methods that merge processes for printed circuit boards (“PCB”) and semiconductor processing.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

As semiconductor and electronics markets have progressed, several technical factors have emerged that have significant impact to the electrical interconnects for “systems” whether they be computer, handset, tablet, automotive, medical, telecomm, data centers. Extreme increases in data traffic driven by internet, streaming video, smart phone, tablet and cloud computing are driving need for significant increases in bandwidth. Increases in data rate and functionality are driving significant wide scale architecture evolution. Advances in semiconductor packaging are driving significant density and routing challenges. Power and thermal management are challenges with low voltage systems to preserve battery life. Advances in semiconductor geometries have outpaced printed circuit geometries.

Traditional printed circuits are often constructed in what is commonly called rigid or flexible formats. The rigid versions are used in nearly every electronic system, where the printed circuit board (PCB) is essentially a laminate of materials and circuits that when built is relatively stiff or rigid and cannot be bent significantly without damage.

Flexible circuits have become very popular in many applications where the ability to bend the circuit to connect one member of a system to another has some benefit. These flexible circuits are made in a very similar fashion as rigid PCB's, where layers of circuitry and dielectric materials are laminated. The main difference is the material set used for construction. Typical flexible circuits start with a polymer film that is clad, laminated, or deposited with copper. A photolithography image with the desired circuitry geometry is printed onto the copper, and the polymer film is etched to remove the unwanted copper.

Flexible circuits are processed similar to that of rigid PCB's with a series of imaging, masking, drilling, via creation, plating, and trimming steps. The resulting circuit can be bent, without damaging the copper circuitry. Flexible circuits are solderable, and can have devices attached to provide some desired function. The materials used to make flexible circuits can be used in high frequency applications where the material set and design features can often provide better electrical performance than a comparable rigid circuit. Flexible circuits are very commonly used in many electronic systems such as notebook computers, medical devices, displays, handheld devices, autos, aircraft and many others.

Flexible circuits are connected to electrical system in a variety of ways. In most cases, a portion of the circuitry is exposed to create a connection point. Once exposed, the circuitry can be connected to another circuit or component by soldering, conductive adhesive, thermo-sonic welding, pressure or a mechanical connector. In general, the terminals are located on an end of the flexible circuit, where edge traces are exposed or in some cases an area array of terminals are exposed. Often there is some sort of mechanical enhancement at or near the connection to prevent the joints from being disconnected during use or flexure.

In general, flexible circuits are expensive compared to some rigid PCB products. Flexible circuits also have some limitations regarding layer count or feature registration, and are therefore generally only used for small or elongated applications.

Rigid PCBs and package substrates experience challenges as the feature sizes and line spacing are reduced to achieve further miniaturization and increased circuit density. The use of laser ablation has become increasingly used to create via structures for fine line or fine pitch structures. The use of lasers allows localized structure creation, where the processed circuits are plated together to create via connections from one layer to another. As density increases, however, laser processed via structures can experience significant taper, carbon contamination, layer-to-layer shorting during the plating process due to registration issues, and high resistance interconnections that may be prone to result in reliability issues. The challenge of making fine line PCBs often relates to the difficulty in creating very small or blind and buried vias.

The printed circuit industry has been driven by the mobile and handset market to achieve finer lines and spaces with higher density. The domestic circuit market has adopted laser direct imaging systems and laser drilled micro-vias over the last several years as advancements in fabrication techniques. In general, domestic suppliers can supply 75 micron lines and spaces with multi-layer construction, with the availability of 50 micron lines and spaces in some cases. The supplier pool is dramatically reduced below 50 micron lines and spaces, with blind and buried vias likely required.

Material sets available to traditional fabrication combined with the line and space capabilities drive the overall stack up for impedance control. For high speed applications, loss associated with glass weave and solder mask are an issue, and conventional via technology has become a major source of impedance mismatch and signal parasitic effects.

In general, signal integrity, high aspect ratio vias and line and space requirements limit the relationship between semiconductor packaging and the printed circuit board the chips are mounted to. Whether the application is a multi-layer rigid PCB, a flex circuit, or rigid flex there is a need for a high speed high density alternative.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present disclosure uses a liquid crystal polymer (“LCP”) material as a circuit bearing dielectric material. The LCP can be used in several forms, such as a cast film, an injection molded coupon or wafer as well as in liquid resin form or a composite liquid material that includes LCP particles.

The present disclosure is directed to creating a circuit architecture that uses LCP material in ways that can be processed with the same equipment used to produce conventional circuits, as well as the laser system HSIO uses to produce connector and socket products. LCP has properties that make it ideal for high speed circuit fabrication. LCP have a low dielectric constant of 2.9 and is virtually impermeable to moisture. The ablation point is well suited for UV laser processing, and it has the unique availability of multiple melting temperatures. The present disclosure leverages those properties to create a method of creating circuits where the LCP material can either be pre-clad with copper or processed to accept electro-less copper deposition and fusion bonded using conventional lamination techniques.

In one embodiment, a series of films that have pre-formed or deposited conductor materials contained within the film are provided. The films are located and registered to each other and laminated under heat and pressure. The resulting circuit structure is created and the LCP material is fused together to make a contiguous LCP matrix with corresponding interconnect either held together by the fused LCP or a combination of localized molecular bonding of the conductive material such as copper.

In another embodiment, a circuit landscape is created by etched copper traces. A plating resist is applied and imaged to create via locations that are plated with electrolytic copper. After striping the resist the resultant field of vias is flooded with LCP resin or an alternate material loaded with LCP particles such that a lamination cycle the LCP material fuses. These two embodiments can be used alone or in combination.

The nature of the present process provides the potential for significant enhancement to traditional circuit techniques not generally possible with the normal circuit fabrication process alone. By combining methods used in the PCB fab and semiconductor packaging industries, the present disclosure enables fine line high density circuit structures not currently produced with attractive cost of manufacture. In addition, the high density circuit can be treated as a system of its own by incorporating printed transistors or other passive and active function.

The present disclosure permits the creation of circuit structures with lines and spaces below 50 micron, and preferably below 20 microns, and supports signal integrity beyond 40 GHz. The material sets can be processed with conventional circuit fabrication techniques and equipment. The solid metal vias provide superior electrical performance over conventional barrel plated or micro vias. The present disclosure is applicable to rigid, flexible and rigid flex circuits, as well as semiconductor packaging.

The present disclosure permits bulk conductive material to be added to create a very small low resistance vias to increase density and reduce line and feature pitch of the high density circuit. The printed circuit can be produced to replicate a traditional circuit, or it can be an interconnect to one or more members of a system embedded or incorporated.

One embodiment is directed to a method of making a multilayered, fusion bonded circuit structure. A first circuitry layer is attached to a first major surface of a first LCP substrate. A plurality of first recesses are formed that extend from a second major surface of the first substrate to the first circuitry layer. The first recesses are then plated to form a plurality of first conductive pillars of solid metal that substantially fill the first recesses. A plurality of second recesses are formed in a second LCP substrate corresponding to a plurality of the first conductive pillars. The second recess are plated to form a plurality of second conductive structures that extend between first and second major surfaces of the second substrate. The second major surface of the first substrate is positioned adjacent to the second major surface of the second substrate. The first conductive pillars are aligned with the second conductive structures. The stack is then fusion bonded to mechanically couple the first conductive pillars to the second conductive structures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a side-sectional view of a method of making a high density circuit structure in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 2 is a side-sectional view of the high density circuit structure of FIG. 1 with a full metal via in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 3 is a side-sectional view of a discrete layer to be added to the high density circuit structure of FIG. 2 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 4 is a side-sectional view of the discrete layer of FIG. 3 fused to the high density circuit structure in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 5 is a side-sectional view of an alternate discrete layer to be added to the high density circuit structure in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 6 is a side-sectional view of the discrete layer of FIG. 5 fused to the high density circuit structure in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 7 is a side-sectional view of an alternate discrete layer to be added to the high density circuit structure in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 8 is a side-sectional view of the discrete layer of FIG. 5 fused to the high density circuit structure in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 9 is a side-sectional view of a circuitry layer added to the high density circuit structure of FIG. 4 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 10 is a side-sectional view of a dielectric layer added to the high density circuit structure of FIG. 9 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 11 is a side-sectional view of a modification to the circuitry layer of FIG. 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 12 illustrates an electrical interconnect interfaced with a BGA device in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 13 illustrates an electrical interconnect for a flexible circuit in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 14 illustrates an electrical interconnect for an IC package in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 15 illustrates an alternate electrical circuit for an IC package in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIGS. 16A and 16B are top and side views of a plurality of high density circuit structures combined with a low density PCB in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 16C is a side view of the PCB merged with the high density circuit structures in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIGS. 17A-17G are side sectional views of an alternate method of constructing an alternate high density circuit structure in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIGS. 18A-18D are side sectional views of another alternate method of constructing an alternate high density circuit structure in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 19 is a side sectional view of a method of fusion bonding a plurality of circuit layers in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 20 is a side sectional view illustrated the plurality of circuit layers of FIG. 19 after fusion bonding in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 21 is a side sectional view of solid metal vias added to the high density circuit structure of FIG. 20 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIGS. 22A and 22B are sectional views of co-axial circuit structures in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIGS. 23A-23C illustrate an alternate method of making a circuit structure in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present high density circuit structure can be configured as a low cost, high signal performance electrical interconnect assembly, which has a low profile that is particularly useful for desktop and mobile PC applications. In another embodiment, the high density circuit structure can also be a portion of a socket or semiconductor package.

FIG. 1 is a side cross-sectional view of a method of making the circuit structure 50 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. A copper foil 52 is preferably supported by base layer 54. The base layer 54 can be a sacrificial member that is removed at some point later in the process.

If the end product is a flexible circuit, the base layer 54 can be a material such as polyimide or liquid crystal polymer. If the final product is a rigid circuit board, the base layer 54 can be FR4 or one of many high speed laminates or substrates. If the final product is a semiconductor package, the base layer 54 can be a material such as FR4, BT resin of any one of a variety of laminate or substrate materials. In the illustrated embodiment, the copper foil 52 can be pre-formed circuitry layer 56 or can be formed using a fine line imaging step to etch copper foil as is done with many PCB processes. The circuitry layer 56 can include fine line etching with spacing between copper traces of about 25 microns. It will be appreciated that conventional copper etching may be used to pattern thicker copper sheets (e.g., ¼ ounce to ½ ounce), followed by fusion bonding of layers as discussed herein.

Liquid crystal polymer (“LCP”) 58 is applied to surface 60 such that the circuitry 56 is at least partially in contact with the LCP 58. The LCP layer 58 may be a film or a liquid. The LCP layer 58 can be applied by screen printing, stencil printing, jetting, flooding, spraying etc. The LCP material is then imaged to create the recesses or vias 62 that expose the circuit locations 64. One benefit of imaging the LCP 58 is that the vias 62 do not need to be round as with traditional drilled vias. Any shape that can be imaged and will result in a grown full metal via 68 of the desired shape. Alternatively, the recesses or vias 62 can be formed using a laser direct imaging process known as LDI.

Liquid crystal polymers are a class of aromatic polyester polymers that are extremely unreactive and inert so as to be useful for electrical applications. Liquid-crystal polymers are available in melted/liquid or solid form. In solid form the main example of lyotropic LCPs is the commercial aramid known as Kevlar. In a similar way, several series of thermotropic LCPs have been commercially produced by several companies (e.g., Vectran/Ticona). LCP materials have a dielectric constant of about 2.9 at a frequency of about 20 GHz, a co-efficient of thermal expansion of about 8 to about 17 ppm/degree C., and a dimensional stability of less than about 0.1%.

In one embodiment, the core LCP material 58 is processed to enable electro-less copper plating to adhere to the side walls 66 of the recesses 62, such as by using one or more of plasma treatment, permanganate, carbon treatment, impregnating copper nano-particles to activate the surfaces 66 to promote electroplating. The electro-less copper plating applied to the side walls 66 creates conductive structures 67 that are electrically coupled to the circuit layer 56. Additional discussion of the use of electro-less plating of the dielectric structure is disclosed in Ser. No. 14/238,638, filed Feb. 12, 2014, and entitled DIRECT METALIZATION OF ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT STRUCTURES, the entire of disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, higher deposition rate electroplate copper can be used to fill the recess 62 with bulk copper to grow a full metal, solid copper pillar or via structure 68 within the recesses 62. The conductivity of the bulk copper pillar 68 is on the order of about 1.68×10−6 ohm-cm. Additional discussion of the full metal, solid copper pillars is found in Ser. No. 13/413,724, entitled Copper Pillar Full Metal Via Electrical Circuit Structure filed Mar. 7, 2012, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

In another embodiment, the circuitry layer 56 is used to electroplate the circuit locations 64. The copper plating 68 adheres primarily to the base copper 58 at the locations 64. The LCP 58 and base layer 54 act as a resist to prevent copper plating except in the recesses 62. The resulting copper pillar 68 is preferably a solid copper structure, without voids.

The plating process can be controlled to a certain degree, but in some cases with fine pitch geometries and high speed circuits, the upper surfaces 70 of the copper pillars 68 may vary in topography or height relative to the exposed surface 72 of the LCP. Also, the LCP may vary in thickness slightly especially if liquid material is used. The copper pillars 68 are preferably planarized and the thickness of the LCP controlled between steps if needed to create a controlled dimension and flat reference plane 73 for the subsequent processing steps and layers.

For higher aspect ratio via connections 68, the process can be performed in a number of steps. For example, another layer of LCP 58 can be applied and imaged to expose the upper surfaces 70 of the previous copper pillars 68, with the next plating step increasing the height of the copper pillar 68 incrementally. Planarization is preferably performed between each layer.

FIG. 3 illustrates another embodiment for creating higher aspect ratio via connections. Discrete LCP layer 80 is imaged and plated to create an array of copper pillars 82, as discussed herein. The layer 80 is then registered so the lower surfaces 86 of the copper pillars 82 are aligned with the upper surfaces 70 of the copper pillars 68. The stack 84 is then fusion bonded using heat and pressure 74.

As best illustrated in FIG. 4, upper surfaces 70 of the copper pillars 68 are held in intimate contact with lower surfaces 86 of the copper pillars 82 by the fusion bond 90 of the LCP layers 58, 80. This mechanical connection can be augmented by the addition of a deformable conductive material, such as a conductive paste, located at interface 83 of the surfaces 70, 86.

FIG. 5 illustrate an alternate discrete LCP layer 100 with barrel plated vias 102 to form conductive structure 104 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The conductive structures 104 are registered and aligned with the copper pillars 68. The stack 106 is then fusion bonded using heat and pressure as discussed herein.

As illustrated in FIG. 6, the copper pillars 68 are held in intimate contact with lower surfaces 108 of the copper structures 104 by the fusion bond 110 of the LCP layers 58, 100. In one embodiment, the vias 102 are then filled with bulk copper plating after the fusion bonding step to create the solid metal pillar 69 generally shown in FIG. 4. The plating bonds directly to the upper surfaces 70 of the copper pillars 68, as well as the exposed surfaces of the conductive structures 104 in the layer 100, resulting in a mechanical and electrical connection between the copper pillars 68 and the conductive structures 104.

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate another variation of the embodiment of FIGS. 5 and 6 in which the vias 62, 102 on both layers 58 and 100 are barrel plated. The subsequent bulk copper pillar extends between the layers 58, 100 across the plane of the fusion bond 110 to create the solid metal pillar 69 generally illustrated in FIG. 4.

FIG. 9 illustrates an optional copper layer 94 added to create the base for additional routing layers and to facilitate vertical via connection to subsequent layers in the stack 84. The present process creates the ability to stack full metal vias 68, 82 in subsequent deposition steps and/or layers to create a high aspect ratio via without the need to drill through the entire stack in one operation.

As illustrated in FIG. 10, resist layer 96 can be added to the subsequent copper foil 94 and imaged to expose circuit locations 98. The LCP 96 flows and fills any recessed regions within a previous circuit landscape 94. The present process can also be used in combination with existing dry film techniques. For example, one or more of the layers can be a preformed dielectric film to leave air dielectric gaps between traces in the circuit layer 94.

In the illustrated embodiment, the circuit locations 98 are electrically coupled with the tops surfaces 122 of the pillars 82 and connect to the circuit layer 94. The resist layer 96 protects circuit layers 56, 94 that are not to be etched and provides contact points to the previous pillar 68, 82.

FIG. 11 illustrates a subsequent etch process that removes the copper foil 94 at the locations 98 in the recesses 120 to provide access to top surfaces 122 of the pillars 82 to allow access for the next plating step to join the layers together in accordance with an alternate embodiment of the present disclosure. Depending on the material 96 and the desired final construction, the layer 96 can be stripped to provide a level to be planarized as the base for subsequent layers or the layer 96 can be left in place.

As illustrated in FIG. 12, the recesses 120 can optionally be filled with similar LCP material 130, followed by a planarization step. A circuitry layer 138 is then added to the planarized surface 139. The stack 84 can be further processed with conventional circuit fabrication processes to add larger diameter through vias or through holes 132 with optional plating 134 as needed.

A solder mask 136 can be applied on circuitry layer 138 and imaged to expose device termination locations 140. The solder mask 136 can also be laser direct imaging. In one embodiment, the solder mask 136 is a LCP. The locations 140 are configured to correspond to solder balls 142 on BGA device 144. In the illustrated embodiment, bottom dielectric layer 146 is optionally deposited on circuitry layer 56 in a manner to expose selective regions 147.

As illustrated in FIG. 13, for flexible circuit applications the stack 84 is laminated with ground planes, cover layers, final finish 148, 150. In some applications the insulating areas can be applied by jet printing of polyimide or LCP as a final layer or as a combination of laminated film and jetted material.

FIG. 14 illustrates an embodiment for semiconductor packaging applications in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The stack 152 can be final processed with a variety of options to facilitate attachment of dies 162, 166, 172, as well as system level attachment to a PCB 154.

In one embodiment, the pillar 160 is planarized to facilitate flip chip attach to the structure directly (see e.g., FIG. 2) or to receive BGA device 162. In another embodiment, plating 164 is extended to facilitate direct soldering of IC device die 166 with paste. In yet another embodiment, plating 168 is wire bonded 170 to the IC device 172.

On the system interconnect side the structure can be processed to accept a traditional ball grid array attachment 182 for an area array configuration or plated with solder/tin etc. for a no lead peripheral termination. The structure can also be fashioned to have pillar or post extensions 184 to facilitate direct solder attach with paste and to provide a natural standoff.

FIG. 15 illustrates an electrical circuit 200 for a semiconductor packages 202 with LCP dielectric materials 204 surrounding the vias, internal circuits, terminations, and conductive structures 206 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. Internal circuits and terminations may also be added by imaging or drilling the core material with a larger opening than needed and filling those openings with an LCP material and imaging the desired geometry to facilitate conductive structure formation.

FIGS. 16A and 16B schematically illustrate the merger of a lower density circuit 220 with one or more liquid crystal polymer circuit structures 222A, 222B, 222C, 222D (“222”) into the contiguous assembly of FIG. 1C. The lower density circuit 220 may be a printed circuit board, a flexible circuit, or the like. The circuit structure 222 can be coupon or wafer configured as an IC socket, a semiconductor package, or the like.

Dielectric material 224, such as a LCP, is optionally applied to the surface 226 of the low density circuit 220 so the location of the high density circuits 222 is at least partially defined and isolated. The dielectric material 224 may be a film or a liquid dielectric, such as a liquid crystal polymer. The dielectric material 224 can be a preformed structure or printed to expose the circuit locations 228 for the high density circuits 222, improving alignment of vias on the lower density main core 220 with the high density circuits 222. In embodiments where the surface 226 includes a LCP, the LCP circuit structures 222 can be bonded using heat and pressure, as discussed herein.

If the circuit assembly 230 is a flexible circuit, the base layer can be a material such as polyimide or liquid crystal polymer. If the circuit assembly 230 is a rigid circuit board, the base can be FR4 or one of many high speed laminates or substrates. If the circuit assembly 230 is a semiconductor package, the base can be a material such as FR4, BT resin of any one of a variety of laminate or substrate materials. If the circuit assembly 230 is an electrical connector or socket, the base can be molded LCP, machined plastic, or a variety of films or substrate materials.

The liquid crystal polymer circuit structures 222 (also referred to as “coupons”) are preferably made using the process described below. The liquid crystal polymer circuit structures 222 are then optionally merged with the low density circuit 220. In another embodiment, the liquid crystal polymer circuit structures 222 can be fabricated in-situ directly on the low density circuit 220 using the processes described herein. The present method permits the liquid crystal polymer circuit structures 222 to be formed directly in the circuit locations 228, without having to extend the processing across the entire low density circuit 220.

FIGS. 17A-17G illustrate an alternate method of making a circuit structure 250 using a LCP dielectric material 252 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The LCP material 252 provides enhanced electrical performance, reduces the overall thickness 254 of the circuit structure 250. The resulting circuit structures can have 1/10 the thickness of a conventional PCB with comparable features.

Base layer 252 has a thickness of about 0.002 inches and is coated with ¼ ounce copper layer 258. The copper layer 258 can be etched using conventional techniques to create the desired circuitry layer. The base layer 252 can optionally have copper foil located on both sides. In another embodiment, the base layer 252 can be a bare sheet of LCP that is processed to accept electro-less.

In one embodiment, the LCP layer 260 is clad with 3 micron thick copper on the top surface. The laser ablation used to create vias 262 penetrates the 3 micron thick copper and the LCP 260 without damaging the base copper layer 258. In an alternate embodiment, a top copper layer is electro-lessly plated onto the LCP layer 260 during a subsequent operation. Additional flash copper plate can be added to increase the thickness of the copper layer 268 as needed.

LCP layer 260 is located on the circuitry layer 258. Laser ablation is used to create via 262, without damaging the circuit structure 264 at the base of via 262. The vias 262 preferably has a diameter of about 0.0005 inches to about 0.005 inches. The vias 262 preferably have an aspect ratio (height: diameter) of about 2:1 to about 1:1.

As shown in FIG. 17B, electroplating is used to fill the opening 262 with solid copper 266 using the copper 258 as the electroplating buss. The full metal via 266 is electroplated up to surface 268. Over-plate can be removed using planarization techniques.

The present method permits the creation of solid or nearly solid filled, blind, or buried via 266 on very tight pitch of 25 micron or below. The LCP process permits via stacks that are 50 micron, 100 micron, and 150 micron high, about 25 times shorter than conventional PCB. The nature of the dielectric application and imaging structure allows for variable material content by position, by layer, and within various points on a given layer. The stack may be partly or completely produced digitally without tooling. Terminal shapes can be created in a variety of geometries depending on the terminal connected. Multiple interface points can be implemented to provide increased reliability or lower contact resistance. Electrical enhancements can include internal intelligence, test functions, data storage, shielding, RF antennae, power or signal management, capacitive coupling, analog to digital conversion, decoupling, Led indicators, display functions, battery capability, and the like.

As shown in FIG. 17C, upper surface 268 of the LCP layer 260 is electro-less plated to create seed layer 270 for signal pad and ground plane bulk electrolytic build-up plating. The seed copper layer 270 can be removed with differential etch process, leaving the desired circuit pattern intact.

FIG. 17D shows an embodiment in which resist layer 272 is applied to copper layer 270. The resist layer 272 is imaged to define the circuit pattern. The circuit pattern is electroplated restricted by the resist layer 272. In one embodiment, the circuit pattern and the vias 266 are plated at the same time.

Also illustrated in FIG. 17D, the copper layer 258 is processed to create the desired circuit structure using conventional techniques. The circuit structure in the layer 258 is bulk plated as needed.

As shown in FIG. 17E, LCP layer 274 is applied to exposed lower circuit layer 258. One of the beneficial properties of the LCP material is it is available in multiple melting temperatures. A lower melt temperature LCP is used to level the circuit patterns with a fusion bonding process that fills in the regions between the circuit structures 258, as well as serves as the bonding agent for the next LCP layer as needed. The resulting structure has many advantages with solid copper full metal vias and traces that are surrounded by LCP with a common dielectric constant. The LCP material can also act as solder mask which is a significant benefit for high speed signals since solder mask is a lossy material. In the illustrated embodiment, LCP layer 274 also includes circuitry layer 276.

FIG. 17F illustrates the formation of through holes or vias 278 drilled in the circuit structure 250. Plating 280 is added to the vias 278 to electrically couple the circuitry layers 270 and 276. As illustrated in FIG. 17G, final finish and solder mask operations are then performed to create a LCP based circuit stack 250 that represents a thinner higher performance replica of a conventional circuit structure.

The present processing encompasses many variations depending on the intended design and results can be used directly as a flexible circuit or a rigid flex with a bonded stiffening member as appropriate. Multi-layer constructions with blind and buried vias basically combine layer stacks with some limitations regarding sequential build up with stacked vias. More complicated multi-layer constructions are also possible. The first uses the LCP layers for the fine lines and signal integrity, while the center region is a conventional rigid PCB constructed using conventional methods. A second method is a mother board—daughter card approach where the high density regions are fabricated with the LCP circuit stack and then merged with a larger format board built with conventional construction.

FIGS. 18A-18C illustrate alternate circuit structure 300 built using LCP layers 320 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The illustrated embodiment is a 12-layer PCB is assembled with three lamination cycles.

FIG. 18A illustrates a center core 302 that is about 0.021 inches thick with a copper layer 304, 306 about 18 micron thick on the opposite surfaces. Vias 308 about 0.001 inches to about 0.004 inches in diameter are laser drilled through the center core 302. The vias 308 are barrel plated to add plating layer 310. The vias 308 are then filled with a conductive or non-conductive material and cap plated 312.

As illustrated in FIG. 18B, power and ground circuitry are imaged in the copper layers 304, 306 and partial etched to leave about 3 microns of background copper between the traces to act as electrolytic plating buss. Resists layers 312 is applied and imaged to create vias 314 that expose locations 316 in the circuitry layers 304, 306. The vias 314 are plate to create solid metal pillars and/or circuit traces 318 and the resist layers 312 are removed.

Patterning of the resist layer 312 to define pattern plating structures, such as vias 314, with fine definition is accomplished with Laser Direct imaging in either a developed film process or direct ablation of cured resist.

As illustrated in FIG. 18C, the plated vias 314 result in solid copper pillars 318 that extend above the circuitry layers 304, 306. In the illustrated embodiment, the solid copper pillars 318 have diameters of about 0.003 inches. A differential etch is used to remove the 3 micron copper buss discussed above. The resist layer 312 constrains subsequent plating to create solid copper pillars 318 have a fine definition of about 100 micron on about a 300 micron pitch to be used for layer to layer interconnect.

FIG. 18D illustrates upper and lower LCP circuit stack layers 330, 332 created with vias 334 configured to receive the copper pillars 318 on the center core 302. In one embodiment, the vias 334 include barrel plating 335. The layers 330, 332 are created using the process discussed on connection with the center core 302. In particular, the layers 330, 332 are a sheet of LCP 336 about 0.002 inch thick with copper 338, 340 about 3 microns thick on both sides. The vias 334 are laser drilled with a diameter of about 0.003 inches. A resist is applied and patterned so the bottom side signal circuitry 340 can be pattern plated to the proper thickness, the resist is stripped and differential etched to remove background copper. In another embodiment, conventional etching can be used to define circuitry 340.

In an alternate embodiment, one or more of the layers 302, 330, 332 are fabricated using conventional means. For example, the core layer 302 may be a conventional PCB, while the layers 330, 332 are fabricated using the techniques disclosed herein. In another embodiment, the ground and power layers can be located on a conventions circuit structure, with the signal layers located on LCP layers fabricated as discussed herein.

In another embodiment, the LCP film 302 has a thickness of about 1 mils to about 4 mils. Subsequent layers of LCP can be selected with a thickness to achieve impedance targets. By combining various film thicknesses the proper dielectric separation can be achieved.

One or both of the layers 304, 306 are a copper seed layer about 3 microns or less thick, for example, applied using electro-less deposition. A circuit structure including circuit traces and vias is imaged in the resist 312. In one embodiment, the resist 312 is about 1 mils thick. The very thin copper seed layer 304, 306 are used as a base for circuit pattern 318 electrolytic build-up using a resist 312 defined pattern plate technique. The circuit pattern is plated to the top of the resist 312 resulting in circuit traces 318 that are about 28 microns thick. The resist 312 is then stripped and a differential etch process is used to remove unwanted base copper, leaving the circuit patterns 318 intact with nearly vertical sidewalls. The resulting circuit traces 318 are about 25 microns wide, about 25 microns thick, and have a pitch of about 25 microns. Full metal vias with a diameter of about 25 microns to about 50 microns can also be created during this process.

Applicant has determined circuit traces 318 about 25 micron wide with about 25 micron spacing between adjacent traces 318 that are surrounded by about 25 microns of LCP provide almost exactly 50 ohms single ended impedance. Using full metal copper vias with a diameter of about 25 microns results in a very high speed, high dentistry circuit structure.

A fusion bonding process is used to encapsulate the circuit patterns 318 in a manner that provides dielectric separation, leveling of the circuit pattern where spaces between circuits are filled, as well as the bonding mechanism for the next circuit layer. In one embodiment, the LCP covering layer is fusion bonded to the circuit traces 318 (see e.g., LCP film 350 in FIGS. 19 and 402 in FIGS. 22A/22B) with a net dielectric thickness roughly 70-80% of pre-bonding thickness.

The embodiments disclosed herein achieve fine line low loss signal performance beyond 40 GHz. The use of thin sections of LCP material allows for a very tight control of impedance profiles (1-3%) with geometries 318 in the range of about 25 microns, and more preferably, about 10 microns to about 15 microns on rigid, flexible and semi-rigid printed circuits and package substrates. The process results in very well defined fine line circuit patterns with vertical sidewalls that are completely surrounded with a homogenous, near hermetic low dielectric constant material, with solid copper via options providing vertical interconnect.

A final LCP fusion layer is optionally used to complete external circuit layers, with final metal layer exposure for component mounting. The final LCP layer is used in place of conventional solder mask (which is very lossy from a signal integrity standpoint). That is, the final LCP surface acts as the solder mask, providing a high speed path through the circuit all the way to the device terminal. The present embodiment provides increased circuit density at very well defined 15-50 micron lines and spaces and a material set that allows for very tight impedance control (1-3%), 20-75 micron solid copper vertical interconnects, and omission of solder mask with a final circuit stack often much thinner than comparable conventional circuits.

The present embodiment provides a number of benefits. The circuit stack includes solid copper vias grown and stacked along with pattern plate. Internal capture pads are not needed. Drilled and barrel plated through holes can be added as needed, as can solid copper full metal blind and buried vias. The traces and vias are completely surrounded by common dielectric. The stack up is thinner than conventional fabrication, providing better aspect ratios for plating. The final LCP layer acts as solder mask and is optically translucent with circuits visible for alignment.

FIG. 19 illustrate a process for laminating the layers 302, 330, 332 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. A film 350 of LCP or suitable alternate is pre-drilled with clearance holes 352 and aligned with the solid copper pillar 318 on the top surface of the center core 302 and the plated vias 334 in the upper LCP layer 302. A similar film 354 with pre-drilled holes 356 is aligned with the copper pillars 318 on the bottom of the center core 302 and the plated vias 334 on the lower LCP layer 332. The films 350, 354 are preferably a low melt point LCP material.

The current embodiment is also applicable to a hybrid high density/low density base board structure illustrated in FIGS. 16A-16C. With this design, the lower density PCB 302 is built with conventional technology. The solid copper pillars 318 of the present disclosure are added to the PCB 302 and configured to mate with corresponding vias 334 on the high density LCP circuit structures 330, 332. In this embodiment, the layers 330, 332 correspond with LCP circuit structures 222 in FIG. 16C. The layers 302, 330, 332 are then bonded using heat and/or pressure as discussed herein. A similar example is a probe card or ATE board construction where the high density region in the center of the board is accomplished by merging a daughter card with appropriate routing to fan out the die patterns. Further discussion of such hybrid high density/low density circuit structures is found in PCT/US2013/030856 entitled Hybrid Printed Circuit Assembly with Low Density Main Core and Embedded High density Circuit Regions, filed Mar. 13, 2013, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

The layers 330, 350, 302, 354, 332 are laminated and the LCP layers 350, 354 are fusion bonded to the adjacent layers. The copper pillars 318 are inserted into the plated vias 334 to form a mechanical and an electrical connection. The low melt temperature material in the layers 350, 354 fills the spaces between the traces of the circuitry layers 340, 304, 306 as it semi-flows in the fusion bonding process. The present process eliminates air entrapment that can cause blisters or bubbles during lamination. The process is self-leveling so planarity of the adjacent layers 330, 302, 332 is maintained. Surrounding the circuitry layers 340, 304, 306 in a common dielectric LCP provides a significant benefit from a signal integrity standpoint.

As illustrated in FIG. 20, the circuit stack 360 is fused together by the LCP layers 350, 354. Signal integrity is greatly enhanced due to the circuitry 304, 306, 340, the plated vias 310 and the copper pillars 318 being surrounded by a LCP material with a similar dielectric constant.

As illustrated in FIG. 21, the exposed electrolytic copper plating bus 338 is coated with resist 362 and imaged to expose the desired circuitry pattern 364 and to remove any cap plating 366 covering the vias 334 (see FIG. 20).

The outer layer circuitry 364 is pattern plated to the proper thickness. During this plating process the vias 334 are preferably filled with bulk copper 368 that mechanically and electrically couples with the copper pillars 318. In an alternate embodiment, the barrel plating 310 is eliminated in favor of the bulk copper 368 deposited in the vias 334.

Any through holes are drilled and barrel plated as well. Solder mask is applied and final finish and legend print completes the construction. Any via locations that are not 100% filled with copper during the pattern plate operation are typically capped by solder mask.

The present disclosure enables circuit structures that are about 0.008″ thick compared to 0.125″ thick for the conventional back-drilled construction. The resulting performance is 60% improved over conventional construction beyond 20 GHz with equivalent design rules. Patterning of thin resist to define pattern plating structures with fine definition is accomplished with laser direct imaging in either a developed film process or direct ablation of cured resist. Fine definition of 25 micron traces with 37 micron spaces with base LCP material are possible. Very fine definition of 100 micron copper pillar full metal via formations on 300 micron pitch can be used for layer to layer interconnect.

Other circuit structures to which the present disclosure applies are disclosed in Ser. No. 13/410,943 entitled Area Array Semiconductor Device Package Interconnect Structure with Optional Package-to-Package or Flexible Circuit to Package Connection, filed Mar. 2, 2012; and Ser. No. 13/700,639 entitled Electrical Connector Insulator Housing, filed Nov. 28, 2012, which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIGS. 22A and 22B are a sectional view of co-axial structures 400A, 400B embedded in LCP material 402 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The center conductors 404A, 404B, 404C (“404”) are solid metal structures, preferably with a generally square cross-sectional shape. As discussed above, differential etching of the copper base layer and subsequent plating restrained by an imaged resist layer permits the fabrication of conductive traces with a substantially rectangular cross-sectional shape. Surrounding the center conductors 404 in the LCP material 402 provides greatly enhance signal integrity.

In one embodiment, the center conductors 404 have cross-sectional side dimensions of about 25 micrometers. The center conductors 404B, 404C are preferably separated by about 25 micrometers of LCP material. The co-axial conductors 406A, 406B also preferably have a width 410 of about 25 micrometers and are separated from the center conductors by about 25 micrometers of LCP material.

The center conductors 404 are optionally fabricated by creating a metalized layer 410 on the LCP to permit bulk copper plating to be formed in the channel formed by either a resist or the LCP material, as discussed herein. In one embodiment, the co-axial structures 400 are fabricated as two components that are subsequently fused along bonding lines 412.

FIGS. 23A-23C illustrate an alternate method of making a circuit structure 450 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. This embodiment is particularly applicable to creating fine lines and spaces using thicker standard ½ ounce or ¼ ounce thickness copper. FIG. 23A illustrates full metal via 452 extending from base copper layer 454 up to top surface 456 of the LCP 458. Copper layer 460 deposited on top surface 456 of the LCP 458 is thicker than in other embodiments, on the order of about at 0.007 inches thick.

The challenge for normal etching of thicker copper, such as the copper layer 460, is that the resulting circuit traces have a taper or trapezoidal cross-section due to the fact that upper surface 462 of the copper layer 460 etches faster than the lower surface 464. In order to etch down to the top surface 456 of the LCP layer 458, the spacing between adjacent circuit traces is usually larger than the actual trace, limiting the effective line and spacing between traces.

FIG. 23B illustrates a resist pattern 466 created with resist layer 468. In the illustrated embodiment, the resist layer 468 is about 0.005 inches thick. In the preferred embodiment, the image 466 is created using a laser to ablate the resist layer 468 and a portion of the copper layer 460 to just above top surface 456 of the LCP layer 458. Using the laser to ablate the copper layer 460 creates substantially rectangular copper traces 482 (see FIG. 23C). An UV laser vaporizes the resist 468 and the copper 460 without leaving deposits behind. In the present embodiment, a thin layer of copper 470 remains in the recesses 472 to prevent the laser from cutting through the LCP layer 458. In one embodiment, the thin copper 470 is on the order of about 3 microns thick.

Basically, the copper layer 460 is ablated down to a very thin layer 470 at the same time as the resist layer 468 is ablated. This approach allows starting with the thicker copper layer 460 and ablating down to the thin layer 470 using the laser to define the resist pattern 466, as well as give the etching a head start by removing most of the copper 460 that would normally need to be etched away. The present embodiment is able to define a circuit structure 480 (see FIG. 23C) with the resolution and definition of the laser, rather than the resolution of conventional image and develop process used by conventional resist imaging.

After processing with the laser, the circuit structure 450 is etched to remove the remaining copper 470 in the recesses 472. The resist layer 468 protects the upper surface 462 of the copper layer 460 during the etching. The 3 micron copper 470 at the base of the recesses 472 is etched away very quickly during the differential etch, without degrading the remaining circuit pattern excessively.

As illustrated in FIG. 23C, the resist layer 468 has been stripped and the circuit structure 480 remains. The copper 470 at the base of the recesses 472 is also gone. One of the benefits of the present embodiment is that resist ablation and pattern definition is done on the same machine as the full metal via 452 drilling so there is no registration issue as there is with conventional methods where the resist is imaged using a low power source that can expose photo sensitive material, but cannot ablate or vaporizes the resist layer 468 or the copper layer 460. The present method uses the laser to ablate the resist and the copper at the same step (although with a different power setting for copper). The same laser can also be used to drill the vias 452 in the same set-up.

When the fusion bond layer is applied, the space 470 between the traces 482 and any undercut adjacent to the traces 482 created during etching of the thin copper layer 470 are filled with LCP. Additionally, the circuit traces 482 are relatively thick (about 0.0007 inches to about 0.007 inches) with very straight, rectangular side walls 486 and little or no taper. The traces 482 preferably have an aspect ratio (height: diameter) of about 2:1 to about 1:1.

Where a range of values is provided, it is understood that each intervening value, to the tenth of the unit of the lower limit unless the context clearly dictates otherwise, between the upper and lower limit of that range and any other stated or intervening value in that stated range is encompassed within the embodiments of the disclosure. The upper and lower limits of these smaller ranges which may independently be included in the smaller ranges is also encompassed within the embodiments of the disclosure, subject to any specifically excluded limit in the stated range. Where the stated range includes one or both of the limits, ranges excluding either both of those included limits are also included in the embodiments of the present disclosure.

Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the embodiments of the present disclosure belong. Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can also be used in the practice or testing of the embodiments of the present disclosure, the preferred methods and materials are now described. All patents and publications mentioned herein, including those cited in the Background of the application, are hereby incorporated by reference to disclose and described the methods and/or materials in connection with which the publications are cited.

The publications discussed herein are provided solely for their disclosure prior to the filing date of the present application. Nothing herein is to be construed as an admission that the present disclosure is not entitled to antedate such publication by virtue of prior invention. Further, the dates of publication provided may be different from the actual publication dates which may need to be independently confirmed.

Other embodiments of the disclosure are possible. Although the description above contains much specificity, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the disclosure, but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this disclosure. It is also contemplated that various combinations or sub-combinations of the specific features and aspects of the embodiments may be made and still fall within the scope of the present disclosure. It should be understood that various features and aspects of the disclosed embodiments can be combined with or substituted for one another in order to form varying modes of the disclosed embodiments of the disclosure. Thus, it is intended that the scope of the present disclosure herein disclosed should not be limited by the particular disclosed embodiments described above.

Thus the scope of this disclosure should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents. Therefore, it will be appreciated that the scope of the present disclosure fully encompasses other embodiments which may become obvious to those skilled in the art, and that the scope of the present disclosure is accordingly to be limited by nothing other than the appended claims, in which reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean “one and only one” unless explicitly so stated, but rather “one or more.” All structural, chemical, and functional equivalents to the elements of the above-described preferred embodiment(s) that are known to those of ordinary skill in the art are expressly incorporated herein by reference and are intended to be encompassed by the present claims. Moreover, it is not necessary for a device or method to address each and every problem sought to be solved by the present disclosure, for it to be encompassed by the present claims. Furthermore, no element, component, or method step in the present disclosure is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether the element, component, or method step is explicitly recited in the claims.